In the West of the island, The Bay Mauritius is a hidden gem you’ll be delighted to discover. Now my local, it’s always the first place we take our friends who are visiting, and always tends to be their last spot of choice before they head home after holidaying. So it goes without saying that The Bay is somewhere very special to us.
Unlike some of the grand hotels on the island, The Bay wants to make you feel like you are in your ‘home from home’. We arrived our first night being greeted by a warm and friendly welcome in their candlelit reception, with stacked bookcases and cosy sofas. Our room was beautiful and simple in equal measure, tastefully decorated in celebration of the island and with colours reflecting its beachside location. The island is part of The Bay in more ways than one, and so is its protection, with guests gently encouraged to add a green star to items without the need for daily laundry.
The Bay is just 16 rooms and suites, some including private terraces that look over the sea (plus a 17th room – a detached guesthouse), so you’re likely to get to know your neighbours. They’ll probably be a happy bunch, too.
Moving outside to their large terraces the unfussy-but-thoughtful style continues, with a range of rustically inspired seating to choose from – including our favourites, the beach front benches, with tables perfect for drinks and nibbles.
And then comes the showstopper – the view. Not just (‘just’!) a pristine beach with bright blue water, but a scene that again represents Mauritius at home with itself. You’re sure to see the fishermen heading out in the early morning or coming back with their catch, local beach dogs frolicking in the shallows and paddle boarders gently gliding in and out of sight. Despite this view that would have even the world’s largest hotel groups scrambling at an auction, the Bay somehow manages to keep a low key, laid back atmosphere.
It’s no surprise then, that the bar and restaurant are also open to non-staying guests for lunch, dinner or drinks. My treat is to stop on the way home after a day out for a drink and some of their ‘snack baskets’ (Mauritian classics such as samousas, chilli bites to tempura prawns and their divine smoked marlin croutons). If you’re not staying, you might need to book for dinner on evenings and weekends, especially with their live music on these nights, as many of those enjoying the sundowner might have also stayed for more. It’s the type of place you don’t want to leave. The restaurant serves a mix of international food, alongside a section on the menu dedicated to a ‘creole corner’, with local specialities such as octopus or chicken and shrimp curry with Mauritian pickles and lentils.
If you’re interested in kite surfing, paddle boarding and boat excursions they can all be arranged. Or if you’d rather keep your toes on the sand, they’ve also got you covered with sunbeds and beanbags and are blessed with a beach perfect for long walks down the coast of Tamarin. The Dolphins of Tamarin Bay are also nearby if you’re keen to see them, as well as the beautiful Ile Aux Benitiers, the idyllic bbq spot.
Ultimately, while many hotels in Mauritius shout how great they are, the Bay gently welcomes you in for a chat and to see for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.